Rally drivers are truly a different breed.
Ken Block is a man of many talents, but one of his most notable is driving rally cars unbelievably fast. As such, his latest video features uncut GoPro footage from his race run at the recent Rally Legends tarmac event in San Marino, Italy.
The course snakes through the impossibly tight roads of the countryside; some of the highlights involve a trio of tight downhill hairpins midway through the course and a flat-out sixth-gear section at the end. Throughout the video, you can hear Ken’s fearless co-driver Alex Gelsomino provide immaculate pace-notes from start to finish.
Gallery: Ken Block's New Escort Cosworth
The footage gives the casual observer a great idea of the unique challenges that rally drivers and co-drivers face during an event – while the driver often experiences a lot of the glory and fame, it is truly a team effort. There’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to rallying aside from the glamorous helicopter shots we often see.
For the uninitiated, Ken and Alex will drive the stage before the rally begins – referred to as recce or reconnaissance – making detailed notes about each and every corner. We could write an entire series of articles about pace notes, but they essentially provide a way to quickly and efficiently give the driver an idea of the corners and hazards that lie up the road. As it would be impossible for anyone to memorize the stage in such a brief amount of time, the cues allow the guys to navigate a stage with very limited prior knowledge.
Thankfully, Block and Gelsomino ended up winning their class in the event and finished third place overall; a brilliant victory for the Cossie V2 after the fateful demise of Cossie V1.